Facebook.com, Inc. (FB) finally has a competitor in the form of Google+, Google Inc.’s (GOOG) friendly challenge to the king of social networking. And of course Myspace is still lingering around somewhere in the dark depths of the internet. But surely some of you have wondered “who else is out there?”
Well, let’s look at six social networks you’ve (probably) never heard of, which may grab your eye in months or years to come.
Yammer isn’t exactly a household name, but it has deployed social networks in use by millions of users. This VC-powered startup claims over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies as its users — a pretty incredible stat. Acquired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2010, Yammer serves up customized purpose-built social networks to help its clients’ employees connect and share ideas.
Myspace still holds much sway among musicians, though Facebook is doing increasingly well in this arena, as well. But ReverbNation may be the ultimate social network for musicians — a network that’s all about music. Musicians can share tips, songs, pictures, and more in a rich community experience. The site claims to have over 2.39 million music professionals onboad.
This social network devotes itself fully to researchers. Anyone who’s worked in the field of peer-reviewed research — be it in an industry or an academic capacity — realizes how exhausting it can be to keep up with the wealth of journals. ResearchGate allows professionals in research fields to share publications and keep up on the state of the art. With over 1.7 million users, it is a rising star, though definitely a niche network.
Nexopia comes courtesy of America’s northern neighbor. Not exactly new, the Edmonton, Alberta network is quite popular in Canada, growing its user base to 1.2 million users. The network feels a bit old-fashioned compared to Facebook, but it is sort of like a cleaner version of Myspace in terms of layout, something some users may appreciate.
Another foreign network, which is slowly invading the U.S., hi5 is very popular in Asia. The company has 280+ million users. The layout is relatively clean, though a quick browsing of users indicates it to be a bit male-heavy.
While some of you may cringe at the mention of words like “greenie” and “environmentalist”, for those who wear it as a badge of honor and are looking to give conservationism a good name, check out Care2. A social network devoted to green living, the site currently has over 19 million members and is quite active. Profiles are well built and are sort of like Facebook if it placed an emphasis on activism and lifestyle. Users trade tips on everything from gardening to hybrid vehicles.
[Top Image Credit: The Social Network, Columbia Pictures]
What off-the-radar social network have you discovered? Let us know in the comments below.
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